Bai Tho Mountain Hike

Hiking up this incredible looking mountain about 30 mins of intense steepness with beautiful views along the bay of a lesser known hike in the city of Halong.


This is one of the coolest, most scenic hikes I’ve ever done, up this gorgeous mountain through someone’s backyard, rocky slippery terrain, trees, shrubbery and barbed wire fence climbing.  It's not for your beginning hiker and you should be in pretty decent shape. This place is called Poem Mountain, aka Bai Tho mountain located in the city of Halong.
The main reason to do this hike is for the views of Halong Bay. You can’t get a better view of the bay without a drone or flying over with a helicopter. This hike was awesome because you get to experience a hike in a foreign country through someone’s own backyard. You have to climb over a fence which I believe might be closed off because kids were starting fires at the top of the mountain,  however the lady that owns the property in front of the gate allows visitors to come through at a price. You enter her place through her front door and go through her house and the lady will demand money, but you can haggle with her and try not to expose all your cash...but be prepared to pay her something.  It would be a shame to be refused because you don't have any cash on you and upset her after coming such a long way for this thrilling adrenal rush of an experience. Then you go to the back yard past a locked, rusted gate.  If your whole family isn’t afraid of a little fence climbing and a 30 minute hike that is fairly steep and slippery, then I would highly recommend it. Luckily there are stones that you can walk on for part of the way that will get you to the top. I went with a friend and we were able to hike just fine. Even the locals sometimes will come with you on the adventure which is awesome.
If you are going to do this hike try to get there early in the morning/day, allow for a leisure pace to make it more enjoyable; it's great to do it before a cruise, because there is not much that I know of to do in the local vicinity. If you want to do this hike, entering the GPS alone won't get you there (a picture of the actual door to the lady's house is posted above), and its like walking to the world of Narnia - through someone’s house that is messy and run-down but there is light at  the end of the tunnel. If you enter the location you’ll have to walk about 5 to 10 minutes till you get to the actual entrance of the lady's house. Sometimes she has the door closed but locals told us to knock on her door until she opens it. The climb is steep and the sun is dreadfully hot depending on what time of year you are going, so be prepared. There is no real shade at the top of the mountain so bring something to protect yourself when you get to the top. With a bit of patience and determination you’ll be able to find this gem of a hike with the most gorgeous views of Halong Bay.
There was a great spot for coffee and beer that we went to beforehand called the Wander Station with a great motto “ Not all those who wander are lost"  It is a good place to either celebrate the hike accomplishment or get some food and energy in you and before your trek up the mountain.
Depending on the weather you might want to bring a light jacket , water bottle , some good hiking shoes and loose fitting clothes and some sort of hat to protect you from the sun.  This would be a medium level of skill needed to complete this hike.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Christopher Rivero

I am an outdoor enthusiast and amateur landscape and architecture photographer. I've been to 20 countries so far and more to come. Make every moment count and stay adventurous.